Friday, February 20, 2009

strollers on escalators - v.1

The Bugaboo Bee is replete with features. It boasts a reversible seat, a retractable sun-cover, and a ventilated backrest that provides "a safe, ergonomic fit". Additionally, the Bee possesses a "swivel-wheel system and one piece handlebar" that makes steering nothing short of simplistic.

In stroller circles, the Bugaboo is a top-notch product. It screams status, shrieks prestige. But silent is the Bee when confronted with the inexorable movement of your garden-variety down escalator.

Just beyond the off-ramp of the escalator is a large fountain, a circular piggy bank that collects penny thoughts and nickle fetishes. We are sitting on the edge of the fountain pool, struggling to maintain conversation as the jet-powered sprayers vaulting up and down, up and down, dance their aquatic routine.

I'm social-gawking, watching people travel the concourse, and having a splendid time predicting who will enter particular retailers.

- You sir, portly and bearded, surely you are in the market for a retro Randall Cunningham. Why, Champs is the place for you. Just past the Yankee Candle. Pick up a tea light for your wife. Purify her olfactory glands with a pleasant scent, lessen the severity of the hundreds you just unloaded.

- The shoes are BOGO, for a limited time only. Don't think, just enter. ALDO, ALDO!, ALDO! It's fashion you seek, all leathery and heeled, and it's just beyond the Chick-fil-A. There you go, I knew you could do it.

- Money's no issue for you, young mother, pretty and well-fed. Time is important to you. It's obvious, for surely you would have taken the elevator. A stroller on an escalator is an idea not worth-

The front wheels pause, then they jostle left and right, but they are rooted firmly against the edge of the escalator off ramp. The downward angle of the escalator, the hockey-rink smoothness of the concourse, and the constant forward pushing of the handlebar by the mother ratchets immobility up to somersault, and the stroller leans forward. The mother, still gripping the handlebar, still pushing forward, exacerbates the inevitable. She is almost on top of the stroller, and the baby, five-point harnessed to the ventilated backrest, is staring at the floor.

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